Google TV Gets Zynga Poker for Living Room Texas Hold 'Em

Google TV adds Zynga Poker to its application lineup, part of its plan to get users to spend more time using the Web TV service.

Zynga, which is preparing for a $900 million-plus initial public offering, has made its popular Zynga Poker gaming application available for Google TV.

Available on Sony TVs, Blu-ray players and the Logitech Revue companion box, Google TV is Google's fledgling platform for wedding Web and channel surfing. The search engine, trying to coax more consumers to purchase and use the Android-based platform, recently made Android Market apps accessible via Google TV.

That app store is where online poker players can download for free Zynga Poker, Zynga's first game title before the immensely popular Farmville and Mafia Wars. Zynga Poker has roughly 30 million active players.

Players may play others from around the world or join friends for a game of Texas Hold 'Em. There are casual tournaments or VIP tables. For those who haven't played Zynga Poker before, the players chat online and send each other poker chips and other gifts.

Players win across multiple platforms, including Google+ and Android devices And now Google TV strives to make the experience even more social from the big screen.

"Especially optimized for playing poker from the comfort of your own couch, Zynga Poker for Google TV features custom graphics and a new way to control the game with the Google TV remote," the Zynga team said in a blog post published by Google. "Up the ante and play Zynga Poker from just about anywhere, whether you're commuting to work or taking a break to connect with friends."

Google, which invested more than $100 million in Zynga, added Zynga Poker to its Google+ Games tab this past August as one of its 16 initial launch titles.

The addition of Games was a calculated move to boost the amount of time users spend on the social network as Google seeks to pry users from Facebook, which with Zynga and others sets the stage for the popularity of online games.

Facebook and Zynga spiced up the action by letting users purchase virtual goods to boost their game status or add additional levels.

Thanks in large part to its success on Facebook selling virtual products, Zynga has rocketed to stardom and is planning to go public next week. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said his company can double the number of its paying players, according to Reuters.